The Scotsman 28 September 2022

HG Wells was a visionary. It is not only that his 1895 novella introduced the phrase “time machine” to the language, it is also that his imagined future identified the flaw in early capitalist thinking.

The Time Machine takes us to the year 802,701, by which point the human race has split into two factions. Above ground live the Eloi, a tribe of small stature and naive outlook, living a life of ease. Below ground are the Morlocks, an unfortunate breed of workers, who feed and clothe the Eloi. It is the class system taken to its logical limit.

In today’s era of haves and have-nots, where the rich get tax cuts and the poor wonder how to pay their bills, his book seems all the more prescient. “It’s really scary,” says actor Melanie Jordan. “We meet these two species when the Morlocks are starting to revolt and to eat the Eloi. Humans are eating each other – it’s awful. We started looking at this a few years ago when Brexit was a thing and Trump was in power and for the first time, the future felt apocalyptic. The more time has passed, the more true the book has felt.” [READ MORE]

By Mark Fisher

MARK FISHER is a freelance theatre critic and feature writer based in Edinburgh and has written about theatre in Scotland since the late-1980s. He is a theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List magazine and a frequent contributor to the Scotsman and other publications. He is the co-editor of the play anthology Made in Scotland (1995), and the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (2012) and How to Write About Theatre (2015) – all Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He is also the editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls and What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book (both Mark Fisher Ltd).